Buying cars used instead of new is a great way to get a little more out of your money and get your hands on something that might otherwise be way out of your price range. Some cars lose as much as 70% of their value after the first three years, so there are some real bargains out there.
But there are also offers here and there that turn out to be too good to be true, whether they be scams or just a car that didn’t turn out to be quite as good up close and personal as it looked in the ad. With keen eyes, though, you can nab a real bargain, so here’s what you should do to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Do a Car History Check
Sellers should always supply you with a history of the vehicle before you buy it, but there’s only one way to be sure what you’ve been told is the truth. Even if you’re dealing with a trusted and established dealership, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and of course this goes double if it’s a private individual selling the car.
Fraudsters trying to get a higher price may lie about the number of previous owners or past accidents, and some cars even turn out to be stolen, so it’s always worth checking for yourself how things stand.
If you’re confident that you know your stuff you can do this yourself but if you have any doubts about your ability to spot a problem you should get it done by someone in the know, whether that be an experienced acquaintance or a hired professional.
Oftentimes sellers will have done this themselves, but again you only have their word for it. If the car has too much wear in certain places it could wind up costing you a lot more than the asking price in the long run so don’t skip this step.
Take It for a Test Drive
Not only does this give you a chance to check on the car’s condition first hand, it also gives you the chance to see how comfortable the car is for you to drive—something that bugs you a little after one trip could be a colossal headache if you have to deal with it every day.
You should also try out all the controls and electrics, just to verify that everything’s in good working order and be sure you’re comfortable with them, so you can be sure you won’t get caught out the first time you need to use the windscreen wipers or headlights.
If you follow these tips you should have no problem finding the perfect bargain.